Why Wild and Scenic River Designation?

Preserve River Flow

Wild & Scenic River designation ensures the Verde River’s free-flowing character is protected, providing life-sustaining natural flow for wildlife, recreation, and downstream water users such as towns, farmers, and Native American Nations.

Maintain Public Access

Protecting the Upper Verde and its side canyons will give land managers, land owners, and local communities additional tools and resources to enhance public access, increasing awareness and appreciation of the river and its values.

Protect Wildlife Habitat

The Upper Verde ecosystem is among the most bio-diverse in the Southwestern United States. WSR designation prioritizes protecting and restoring critical habitats for fish, wildlife, and rare plants – and thus supporting local economies.

Clean Water Supply

The Upper Verde River, Granite Creek, and Sycamore Canyon provide abundant clean water for fishing, swimming, boating, agricultural irrigation, municipal water supplies, resident wildlife, and overall ecosystem vitality.

Wild and Scenic River designation recognizes that the Upper Verde, Granite Creek, and Sycamore Canyon are national treasures. This designation will provide resources for management and restoration, protect clean water supplies, and maintain the river‘s ecosystem as it is for future generations.

Area proposed for Wild & Scenic River designation

From community input we’ve received – and we welcome further public input – we’re proposing the following river segments: 44 miles of the Upper Verde, 30 miles of Sycamore Creek, and 2 miles of Granite Creek for a total of 76 river miles and over 24,000 acres of riverside lands.

Rivers are the lifeblood of Arizona’s desert landscapes but most have been lost, destroyed, or degraded. The Upper Verde remains a refuge for wildlife and nature for people to enjoy and appreciate. Let’s keep it that way!

(Click map to enlarge)